• Paul Conzen

Designing A Logo: Process Makes Perfect

Logos have a large impact on our society. Most people can probably describe the logo of their favorite brands to you in detail. That is why you never see companies that don’t have their own logo. Logos are essential for businesses and brands to separate themselves from a typically crowded market. They also have a large impact on how customers will perceive or interact with that brand. So, if logos are so important, shouldn’t the logo design process be important as well?



The Process of Designing A Logo

When it comes to designing a logo, most people don’t understand the amount of time and hard work it takes to come up with a perfect design that will make your business stand out. A design that will be recognizable and easy to understand. A design that will make people want to interact with your business. At POP MKTG, we have a team dedicated to making sure these things are achieved, which is why we stick to a strict process when it comes to logo design. That process comes in 4 steps:

  1. Research

  2. Sketching

  3. Design and Refinement

  4. Branding

Research

Think back to your high school or college days. Whenever you were assigned to write a paper on a topic, did you write according to what you thought? Of course not! You did research and spent time learning about what other people said about that topic. The same approach needs to be taken when designing a logo for a client. There are 3 things you should focus on when researching for your logo design: the client, the competitor and the design community


We need to understand the culture of the company. What is the mission? What is the vision? Where does the company want to be in 5 years? 10 years? The answers to these questions will help inform us to make the correct design decisions.

Research: The Client

This is the most important stage of the research process. If you don’t know who you are designing for, you will not design a successful logo. When starting a new logo design project at POP MKTG, we like to ask the client a number of questions to understand not only what their preferences are, but what their customer preferences are and what their company is like. We need to understand the culture of the company. What is the mission? What is the vision? Where does the company want to be in 5 years? 10 years? The answers to these questions will help inform us to make the correct design decisions.


Research: The Competitor

Once you understand who you are designing for, it’s important to understand who you are designing against. The clients’ competitors. When looking at competitors’ logos, it’s important to focus on not just the logo, but the brand as a whole. What is the competitor doing that is positive? What are they doing that is negative? How can we separate ourselves from the competitor in a positive way through design and branding? Once these questions are answered, it is time to move on to the next research step.


Research: The Design Community

The last research step before we can move on in the design process is to see what other designers are doing. I always like to research other people’s designs not only to see if the idea I have in my head has already been produced, but for inspiration. Websites like dribbble.com or logopond.com and even Google are great for doing quick research on what is out there and what you can pull ideas from. It would be a real bummer to make an amazing logo and sell it to the client only to find out a couple months later that there is a very similar logo already done and trademarked.


It would be a real bummer to make an amazing logo and sell it to the client only to find out a couple months later that there is a very similar logo already done and trademarked.

Sketching

Sketching is a key part of the design process. It is an extremely efficient way to get your initial ideas out of your head and onto paper (or an iPad) to see if they are going to work. At POP MKTG, we like to sketch at least 20-25 designs before we move to the design program. This process typically takes an hour or two and gives us an idea of what ideas to really focus on in the design and refinement stage.


Design and Refinement

This is the fun part! Once you have a few good ideas that will work on paper, it’s time to open up your favorite design tool (for us at POP MKTG, it’s Adobe Illustrator) and get cracking! Depending on the client budget, this stage usually takes a couple of days. During this stage, we focus on: layout, communication, readability, and color (see our Project Manager Katie’s post on color theory here). Once we feel comfortable with the design we have, we refine it until it’s perfect.


Artboard in Adobe Illustrator showing the process of designing the logo for our client QuickPaint.

Branding

Your logo is almost never going to be seen on only a white screen on somebody’s computer. That is why it is so important to build out how the logo is going to be used. This is the start to building out the visual brand of the company. Some examples of this would be showing the logo in use on social platforms like Facebook or Instagram, putting the logo on a shirt or polo, mocking up a sign for the front of the store, creating posters or advertisements, developing a logo animation video, and also building icon sets for use in print or digital communication pieces. Showing how the logo will look “in the wild” will help the client see the possibility for their brand.


Logo animation for our client QuickPaint

If this process is followed carefully and you have a talented designer to do the heavy lifting, at the end of it you will have a beautiful and meaningful logo that will instill the culture of your company and bring more clients through the door. If you are in need of a logo or are looking to rebrand, contact us at POP MKTG! We have years of experience creating amazing logos and brands for companies of all sizes.



Paul Conzen

Creative Director

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